Information in the Animate and Inanimate Worlds

Information in the Animate and Inanimate Worlds Closed systems are governed by the second law of thermodynamics and cannot spontaneously become more ordered. In open physical systems exposed to external energy flows, additional macroscopic degrees of freedom (“memory cells”) emerge, their number increasing with an increase in the flow and orderliness of the external energy. Biological systems are characterized by molecular degrees of freedom, the density of which is more than twenty orders of magnitude higher than that of macroscopic degrees of freedom in any open physical system exposed to the same external energy flow. This indicates that the self-organization of physical systems in external energy flows and the self-organization and evolution of living systems are fundamentally different. Thus, although life is an open system, the energy (food) flows that it consumes and all other external factors affecting life are so poorly ordered, compared to life itself, that they cannot increase the degree of order in the latter. Therefore, living systems obey an analogue of the second law of thermodynamics: within periods of time considerably shorter than the duration of evolutionary changes, living systems can only lose the accumulated information (i.e., the entropy can only increase), even if the systems consume external energy–food flows. Russian Journal of Ecology Springer Journals

Information in the Animate and Inanimate Worlds

Loading next page...
Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
Copyright © 2002 by MAIK “Nauka/Interperiodica”
Life Sciences; Ecology
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site


You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.

DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 12 million articles from more than
10,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Unlimited reading

Read as many articles as you need. Full articles with original layout, charts and figures. Read online, from anywhere.

Stay up to date

Keep up with your field with Personalized Recommendations and Follow Journals to get automatic updates.

Organize your research

It’s easy to organize your research with our built-in tools.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

Monthly Plan

  • Read unlimited articles
  • Personalized recommendations
  • No expiration
  • Print 20 pages per month
  • 20% off on PDF purchases
  • Organize your research
  • Get updates on your journals and topic searches


Start Free Trial

14-day Free Trial

Best Deal — 39% off

Annual Plan

  • All the features of the Professional Plan, but for 39% off!
  • Billed annually
  • No expiration
  • For the normal price of 10 articles elsewhere, you get one full year of unlimited access to articles.



billed annually
Start Free Trial

14-day Free Trial